Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Who's the Boss?

Do you remember that sit-com from the late 80s?

Tony Danza, Judith Light, and Alyssa Milano (I used to wanna be her SO bad!) starred in the 30 minute show that highlighted the tensions and the relationships between an advertising professional, her housekeeper, each of their own kids and her mother. The theme song was catchy and the stereo-typical roles of men and women were challenged, but the conflict was always neatly resolved before the end of the show - even if they never really, directly answered the question of the show's title, "Who's the Boss?".

When I go to work, I am "the boss" for about 50 people (give or take 1-5). Yet, I still answer to the authority of my supervisor, the preschool minister. Officially, she and I both in turn are subject to the pastor. Unofficially, I also answer to the parents of the preschoolers who are enrolled in our program. They pay for their kids to come, so in a way, they could be seen as my bosses too.

I get these relationships. My parents taught me from an early age to respect authority. I had a public school  teacher once who explained that even if a person failed to acknowledge authority on a lesser level that there would be another, stronger, higher authority that they would one day be forced to acknowledge, even if that meant being cuffed and carted off to jail. This has always made sense to me. I am thankful by His grace that I grew up in a home where I was taught about authority.

There are some in our society that would say that this sort of understanding is lacking in our psyche today and it is the very thing that is wrong with our world. You don't even have to watch a full 30 minutes of the evening news to see countless ways that various people have assumed that they didn't need to submit themselves to some form of authority or another.

Police shootings (where police are doing the shooting AND where they are the ones being shot.), government corruption, and even vehicular "accidents" caused by yet another DUI- the lack of respect for authority is all around us.

However, this kind of rebellion is nothing new. Mankind has been a rebel-without-good-cause since the Garden of Eden. We don't need people to be more respectful of the laws or of the police or even of each other.

People truly need to be more respectful of God's authority.
And by "people" I really mean "me."

When I look at the world around me from this perspective, from His perspective - I have more respect for the other authorities that He has placed over me - the law which tells me I should not exceed a certain speed limit, and the police officer who pulled me over for a broken taillight - among other authority figures.

I also have more respect for those I share oxygen with when I stop and see them from His perspective. Even if I didn't or couldn't see the value of those around me, I should still show them love simply because He said so. This is just one of those areas that He has explained why we should do what we are supposed to do. We are all His image bearers.

God's authority cannot be made into an 80's sitcom. There is nothing funny about it. He is our ultimate authority. Like I said in my last post, whether we acknowledge it or not, He is. It is His judgement that we will one day surely face regardless of how we chose to live our lives.

Maybe we don't have authority issues with the police or even our bosses. But until He returns or calls us home, we will all continue to struggle with rebelling against our Ultimate Authority Figure.

Thinking on this, I know I need to spend some time both confessing and praising-confessing my rebelling ways and praising that I am judged not by my own deeds, but Christ's. By His blood I am forgiven AND made righteous before my Boss.

This is REALLY good news. When I humble myself and acknowledge who the Boss is -not Bruce Springsteen, but a loving Father who by His endless mercy and grace takes care of my problem with authority, I am overwhelmed by Who the Boss really is and His relationship to me.

Monday, October 24, 2016

He Is Still the Boss

Tonight as I was getting the three year old dressed for bed. She stopped, looked straight at me and said, "You're awfully bossy."

I then stopped trying to help her put on her PJ's and looked back at her. Did she really just say what I think she said? Did she really just echo my exact words back at me? How many times have I said those exact syllables when refereeing a skirmish between two or more of my daughters? (Granted I try say "you're being" or "you're acting awfully bossy." But of course that is not what her little mind remembers.)

As a resumed directing her little arms into her little sleeves, I thought to myself that I have every right to be bossy when it comes to parenting. God has given me both the right and the responsibility to tell the two little and one not-so-little girls that call me mom, what to do.

I have the God-given authority over them. 

When I tell my girls what to do, I am not merely being "bossy," even if it seems that way to them. I am teaching and training OR we are running extremely late and I need all-hands-on-deck to get everyone with everything out the door and in the van.

Most of the time, I have a purpose and a plan when I exercise my authority over the girls. From their limited time on Earth, they may not get the bigger purpose behind my directions and instructions, but I still expect them to obey. I am the parent. They are the children.

I don't think I have ever been the kind of parent that practises the "Because I Said So" approach to parenting. From the time my oldest could discern my voice, I tried to be respectful of who she is as person and explain the world around her as much as I could. My mom says I am a patient mom. But there are times that it isn't in my girls' best interest to divulge as much information as they'd like. Yet, it is still their responsibility to respond with faithful obedience.

This is the way God designed it. He thought so much about this relationship, that it even has its own specific commandment in the list of ten. Plus, it's the first one with a promise. Look it up in Exodus! You wanna live a long life? Obey your parents! (Don't think I don't tell the girls this truth!)

I've been thinking a lot about authority lately, mostly God's authority. Then when Eliza accused me of being bossy tonight, I realized that I can be a lot like her in how I relate to my Heavenly Father.

Sometimes I can be a little "too big for my britches" and not want to acknowledge His authority over me. Yet, whether I acknowledge it or not, it is still there. He is still there. He is still the Boss.

He doesn't always tell me what He is up to. He seldom shows me why He does the things He does. He knows more. He understands more. As my loving, heavenly Father, I can trust Him to act in the best interest of my well-being and my relationship with Him.

I am the child. He is The Parent, and the best One ever at that. He doesn't make mistakes.

This week as I blog, I will be reflecting on God's authority. I think the most profound truth for me though is how it relates to me or better yet how I relate to it, God's authority over me. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

My Top Ten Current Church Pet Peeves

Okay, I am in a mood to just have a little fun.  I have decided that today’s topic will be a list of my top ten current church pet peeves.  Maybe you can relate to these or perhaps you have your own list.  If you do, please feel free to join in the fun and leave your comment.

1.       Do not tell me that I “need” to be friends with so and so, because they have lots of money.  Excuse me but socio-economic status is not important to me.  If I recall Jesus ministered to ALL people.

2.      Please do not assume that I do not have plans on a certain night in order to attend an event.  Even though I do not work outside the home or have young children at home, I do lead a very hectic life managing a pastor/husband and babysitting my grandchildren.

3.      Do not expect me to dress nicely to go to the store.  If I am coming from the gym and short on time, I often will do my shopping while I am out.

4.      Please do not bring your “concern” about an issue at church to my husband five minutes before worship service is to begin. Nothing hinders the Holy Spirit more than a critical spirit.

5.      If you must go to the restroom during church, please exit through the back doors.  Walking to the front of the church is a distraction to everyone.

6.      When the choir/praise team is leading in worship, please don’t look like you are sucking on a lemon.  At least fake a smile.

7.      Please do not tell the ministry staff or their wives that you or someone you know are going to be hospitalized and expect us to remember.  Please let the church office know so they can remind us to visit and pray for you.

8.      Please do not assume that as the minister’s wife I know everything going on at church.  I do not know everything nor do I want to know.

9.      Yes, I want to be your friend.  However, do not assume we will be close friends.  God will lead me to the people who will be my trusted friend.

10.  Last and my biggest pet peeve is Sunday afternoon wedding and baby shower???? Why???  This is the busyness day of the week for ministers’ wives. 

So girlfriends, can you relate?  Do you have a ministry/church related pet peeve?  Come one share it with us!  Let’s have some fun!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Will They Ever Get It?

As you know I am a chocoholic.  I stand before you today confessing that it is not unusual for me to consume a handful of Peanut M & M’s on a daily basis.  If those little “Happy Pills” are not available and I need an addiction fix, I will search my pantry in search of chocolate.  Alas, the problem with my addiction is that it leads me to feel sluggish and to put on a few pounds.  When will I ever get it that over-indulgence is not good for me?

As a ministers’ wife, I often find myself asking the question, “Will they ever get it?”  The “they” I am referring to here is our congregation.  For instance, my pastor husband prayerfully seeks the Lord preparing for each Sunday.  He and his staff pray over each aspect of the service, the people who will attend, etc.  On Sunday many of our members sit and just critique each missed music note, each stumbled over word spoken, or a choir member’s attire.  When will they ever get it that the service is for the Lord and everything done is all about Jesus?

As the pastor’s wife, I want everyone to feel welcome.  Jesus welcomed the children, the elderly, the young, the sick and the sinners.  Hmm, I believe he tried to welcome the religious leaders of his day but they did not get it.  Just recently I heard of a church that would not baptize someone because of their color?  Seriously!  When will they ever get it that Jesus came to seek and to save EVERYONE not just a few?

This is my personal opinion.  I believe “they” will get it on the day of our Lord’s return.  Until then we must be faithful to God’s calling and let Him work on people’s hearts.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Ladies, Friday is probably not a good time to write a post but here goes anyway.  I want to remind you about our two Ministers Wives events at the Summit this year. 

1.  The Good Cup, Sevierville Convention Center, November 14th from 12:45-4:00 in ballroom D.  Carol Anderson-Shores will be our featured speaker.  Carol is a professional actress and will be doing skits around different women in the Bible.  Our featured musician is Lauren Talley of the Southern Gospel group, The Talleys.  She will be singing several songs throughout our time together.  You have asked for more time for discussion.  We heard you. You will have several times to discuss topics around the tables.

2.  Annual Luncheon is Tuesday, November 15th from 11:30-1:15 in the same place.  Our musician is Vicki Leavell, pastor's wife at FBC, Millington.  Our speaker is Dana James, from Greenwood, Indiana.  Dana has spoken several times at events for us and is now speaking all over the country.  Dana is a fun, unique speaker that you will certainly enjoy.  The cost of the luncheon is $20 if preregistered or $25 if paid at the Summit.  Online registration is open at www.tnministerswives.org.
You can find the full schedule and hotels for the Summit at www.tnbaptist.org.

The planning team has worked hard to make these two events unique and exceptional.  Join us in Sevierville in November.  Hope to see you there. 

Lana Rose
Leadership Specialist
Tennessee Baptist Convention

Thursday, October 6, 2016

What Is Your Necessary Thing?

Have you ever thought about the one thing that you absolutely, positively could not live without?

Is it a person or a hobby or a television program or a favorite food or a vacation spot or the latest clothing styles or a website or the TN Prime Rib Blog?!

In this life we all have things that we convince ourselves that we need, and if we don’t get them, it seems that life will be so unbearable! (I know that’s a bit dramatic, but you get the point.)

I love trail mix. I can eat just about any kind, but it has to have chocolate in it! (Vickie, I like chocolate too!) I purposely don’t purchase it too often because it’s hard to exercise self-control when I dig in. Of course, there’s a suggested serving size on the bag, but I totally ignore that information. So, every now and then, I indulge in my “necessary thing”. I could probably come up with some other indulgences that I also think that I can’t live without.

What is your necessary thing?

Our loving Savior has given us all things to enjoy (1 Timothy 6:17) as long as they are not sinful, but we are not to have any idols before Him (Exodus 20:4-5). We enjoy, but we don’t worship these “things”.

There is truly one thing that is necessary. Our Savior leaves us no doubt what that “necessary thing” should be for each of us.

Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, demonstrated what that “necessary thing” is.

In Luke 10:38-42 we see Jesus and His disciples traveling, and they come to the home of His dear friends. I call it the tale of two sisters. Mary, sitting at the Savior’s feet listening to His every word. Martha, frantically trying to serve the Savior. Many of you know the story: Martha gets very mad that her sister is not helping her serve, and she has no reservations about letting the Lord know just how irate she is.

Yet, I love Jesus’ gentle response to her. He compassionately tells her that she is worried about so many things, but (and I love this part) only “one thing is necessary”. Mary got it; she understood what was needed above all else. Sitting at the feet of Jesus!

What does that look like today? For me, it is reading His word, soaking in all the precious promises and truths in the Scriptures. It is praying to Him and enjoying intimate fellowship with Him on a daily basis, allowing His presence to encourage me throughout my day. I admit, some days I linger for a short time at His feet, some days I am able to sit longer. It has become a life-line for me, for I am nothing without Him.

So, my sisters, what is your necessary thing?

Oh, I believe it’s okay to have certain things that we enjoy, as long as they don’t become idols in our lives. But let’s not forget what Our Savior taught us; the “one necessary thing” that is needed is Jesus Christ Himself and all that He desires to pour into our hearts.

“But only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:42

Friday, September 30, 2016

Pretend or FAKE???

Meet "Onna" and "Captin 'Merica"
aka....Anna and Captain American.
Our grandkids have reached the age that they LOVE to pretend.  When they have their costumes on..........they are no longer Kinley and Cameron..........you must refer to them as "Onna" and "Captin 'Merica".  They refer to each other as their pretend names also.  They role play it for hours.  It is precious and very cute.................
The problem is..................many times in our church and in the world........there are adults that are STILL living in the PRETEND world.  They pretend to be "someone else". 
Don't you just LOVE it when someone....whom you KNOW....has a heart that is far, far from God....................BUT...when they are around the "preacher" or "preacher's wife"....they suddenly begin to talk about how much God has blessed them, etc.???  NOT!
Also....don't it really irk you when someone posts inappropriate things on Facebook........then a few posts later they are posting Bible Verses?
It's kind of like the driver driving along with a "Honk if You Love Jesus" sticker on their bumper, then flips someone off because they are driving slower than they want them too.
Sorry.....this was just a random soap-box!

People may try to PRETEND to others.............but they can NEVER FAKE it to GOD.